It may seem like such an oxymoron to call the darker days of the Autumn Equinox and the Winter Solstice as the season of light, but I believe, indeed it is.
With each changing season I ask myself what the rhythm of earth is learning, doing, being and I try and line up with that for myself. In the fall the earth slowly begins to call itself to a slowing down. It is these times that much like the earth; we too are being called to begin to slow down our rhythm, our pace from the productive outer days of spring and summer. It is the beginning of going within.
Everything about Fall and Winter is inward, we even cloak our bodies more against the elements, the windows get closed, and the spaces under our door frames get greeted with rag rugs to keep the chill out. Like the Earth, we are beckoned to cover ourselves and lie in wait for the new life of the promised Spring ahead.
The sun’s energy in Spring in Summer is so prolific that it infuses us with a energy of empowerment to do. It’s outward and free as we let our feet feel the earth and our body go unshackled by layers of clothing. We long to do…get our hands dirty, to rise up earlier in the morning, and continue with our labors longer in the day. We mirror the cycle of the earth, as she too is bursting with fertile life and abundant activity. called to be
In contrast, in this season of light and darker days we aren’t being called to do as much as we are called to be. This is a season to do the inner work, to discover how to light up the darker days with our own inner light. We lie asleep like the leaves on the ground to produce a fertile space for the blossoming that is to come.
I realize that for some people the season of light and all it brings with it, such as the holidays and family closeness can be challenging at best. All the potential opportunities or lack of opportunities tor get together can make loneliness more apparent. The lack of sunlight high in the sky often makes us feel subdued, and so the message the Universe sends to us is to learn to push the pause button.
Being fascinated with how the seasons effect other parts of the world, I began to read about other parts of the hemisphere and how the darker days influence them. One article that really stood out to me was an article about Norway. Norway is a place that receives little sunlight from October to late April. Since Norway shares part of the arctic circle it is often bleak and covered in a blanket of frozen frost. This does not stop the people of Norway from enjoying life. They embrace the change of the seasons and begin to prepare for their joyous celebrations of winter season and the arrival of Christmas. They invoke a practice of a ritual, or actually a way of daily living called Koselig . Koselig can loosely be translated as “cozy”. It is a time to bring to the forefront inner light and to create many opportunities to gather around the fire and to enjoy an abundance of candlelight. It is a season where one chooses to see the beauty in the indoors/inward times and light the candle of gratitude inside of themselves. I read that for Norwegians. Koselig is “Like an inner summer that Norwegians create for themselves to feel like its warm all year long no matter what the circumstances.” It is the mindful bowl of soup set on the table, the breaking bread and fellowship of another. It is the time of solitude and contemplation, it is making our homes a refuge and sanctuary. A holding place for us to come to at the end of the day that brings rest and renewal to our souls.
So in this “season of light” I want to encourage you . Encourage you to follow the rhythm of the earth and go inward and find your inner light. To prepare a space and a path for your holidays of winter, and for many of us, the celebration of The Christ child. To not focus on the lack of the sun but to see the occasions to bring the light. Go to that place within and nurture yourself with a slower more meditative pace. A place of quiet, give yourself permission to let the peace wash over you. Learn to fellowship with yourself, to find the contentment to what is, knowing the Divine life within you will shine forth igniting your own inner flame as we listen to the stillness.
As you wake up to darker mornings and shorter days, may it find you in touch with your own inner radiance, and may you light the candles, build that fire, and set that bowl of soup on the table, waiting to be shared with another.
Celebrate the season of Light, and all it wants to illuminate in our lives as we make our way down the winter path following the rhythm of the earth and allowing our inner flame to burn brightly within.
All is well. And so it is.
Cheryl a Waldorf inspired teacher and the owner/director of The North Wood Child Enrichment Center. She is passionate about people and the world around her. Cheryl especially loves inspiring children, and loves seeing them have a thirst and hunger to learn. She is fascinated with all of humanity, and truly believes that people are the most beautiful creations! Cheryl lives in Florence AL and you can often find her digging in her garden or writing on her front porch.